Frieze New York
Frieze New York returned to Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan, May 9 to 12, 2014, with Deutsche Bank serving as sponsor for a third consecutive year. Other sponsors included fashion companies Gap and Gucci with pop up stores selling t-shirts designed by Alex Katz, Yoko Ono and Peter Lingbergh, all of which will not be available at your local Mall’s Gap.
Originating in 2003 in London by Frieze art magazine, the fair has expanded to other cosmopolitan cities like New York with pop-ups serving as a global forum for big money contemporary galleries as well as emerging ones, hosting Projects, Talks, Sounds and Education programs. For the past three years Frieze NY pitched its airy white tent on Randall’s Island. Being Randall’s Island, there’s bound to be rain and leaks. It’s all part of the fun, though, as it was Saturday with downpours, buckets and puddles adding more excitement and serving as a good a reason to retreat to Marlow & Sons for drinks.
One hundred ninety of the world’s leading contemporary galleries presented this go-round, with 53 participants from NYC. Outlier celebrities from Uma Thurman to Marc Jacobs made the trek for the previews, ensuring flash and Page 6 press. The dress code was “get noticed,” with oddly dressed, name-tagged people patrolling the show. More pragmatic visitors wore Wellies.
Frieze banded their newer galleries together in the Focus and Frame sections, with Focus for galleries under ten years old showing Frieze exclusive projects while Frame section featured galleries open less than six years. To make sure no one messes up Frame is getting two appointed curators.
Highlights in Frame included Stewart Uoo’s socially charged pieces and French artist Bettina Samson’s sculptures and photos.
Of the top galleries, Ed Ruscha’s low-key Woo, Woo and Co. paintings were less than I expected from Gagosian, but after their heavy hitter show at Art Basil it was bound to be a let down. Gladstone showed Carroll Dunham’s work. Being close to Mother’s Day, we were charmed by Alex Katz’s Tulips 4 at Gavin Brown’s enterprise.